Two Android personal media players shipping later this year
Sony is continuing to extend its line of Walkman-branded personal music players with a raft of new models, including two Android devices. The Walkman NW-ZX1 and NW-F880 range, powered by Android 4.1, will be going on sale in Japan later this year, alongside new media players in the S-series and M-series ranges.
Personal Media Players have five-band equalizer, digital sound enhancement engines
Sony is continuing to push its Walkman line of personal media players in Europe, with the introduction of two E-series devices, set to go on sale in the next few weeks. The E380 and the E580 retain the same appearance as others in the range, offer video, photo, and music playback, and come with a pair of noise-cancelling in-ear headphones.
Claims compatibility with any iPhone, iPod
Royal Philips Electronics (Philips) unveiled several new products in its line portable media players and accessories at CES2011. New additions to the Fidelio family of docking stations include the Fidelio Lifestyle Docking Speaker DS8550 and Fidelio Primo Docking Speaker DS9010. The Fidelio DS8550 is a portable speaker that the company claims will dock any iPhone or iPod as well as the iPad. The speakers can be controlled remotely by an app or the device's own remote. A five-hour rechargeable internal battery and A2DP Bluetooth connectivity make the DS8550 a truly portable speaker solution. It is also accepts input from a 3.5mm stereo jack.
Notebooks, TVs, e-readers follow behind
Of Americans planning to buy high-tech electronics during the holidays, most are picking the iPad or some other form of media tablet, says Retrevo. The shopping and review site recently conducted an online survey of over 1,000 people, which it says points to people spending 16 percent more on electronics this holiday period over 2009. After tablets, notebooks were the next most sought-after gadgets in the survey group, followed by non-3D TVs.
Palm, Garmin, PSP now - more coming soon
GoGadget is a new program for Mac from third-party sync experts Mark/Space that promises to allow iTunes and iPhoto syncing with almost any third-party media player through a simple, intuitive interface. The program will sync photos, music, video, documents and even ringtones from your Mac to the third-party device simply using the USB cable, limited only by what the device is capable of playing or displaying.
New ViewSonic netbooks
Normally known for its monitors in North America, ViewSonic has announced two new netbooks, initially slated for Asia and Europe. The VNB100 uses a 10.2-inch display, capable of resolutions up to 1024x600. Inside is an Atom N270 processor with 1GB of RAM, supplemented by a 160GB hard drive. Other features include Wi-Fi, a memory card reader, a 1.3-megapixel webcam and three USB ports. Unusual is the presence of an ExpressCard 34 slot, typically reserved for full-sized notebooks.
Teen iPod market saturated
Potential growth in the teen iPod market is dwindling rapidly, at least in the US, writes Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster. The firm recently conducted its annual survey of American high schools, polling 600 students on their ownership of media players and the way they acquire digital music. Of the 92 percent of teens who said they owned a media player, 86 percent said they owned an iPod; the closest competition came from Microsoft's Zune player, which amounted to only 4 percent of ownership.
Philips GoGears US-bound
Philips has announced that three of its GoGear media players are scheduled to arrive in the US. Among these is the ViBE, which uses a 1.5-inch display and a battery capable of 25 hours of music or four hours of video. While audio file support is mainly limited to MP3 or WMA files, it can also handle Rhapsody subscription tracks, and Audible audiobooks. Other integrated features include an FM tuner with 20 presets, and automated conversion of Internet video. The player should ship in April, at a cost of $50 for 4GB or $60 for 8GB.
doubleTwist beta for Mac
doubleTwist has released a public beta of its media synchronization and sharing application for the Mac platform. The program intends to eliminate DRM restrictions, with sync support for content from digital cameras, MP3 players or PSPs, among other devices. The media can then be played or published to YouTube, Facebook or Flickr. Users can also send the files to their friends.
iRiver CES introductions
iRiver at CES unveiled its latest multimedia devices including the Wave-Home multimedia device and several portable media players. The Wave-Home interface is displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen that resembles a digital photo frame, but the device also integrates a phone and webcam. A wireless handset fits into the back of the housing for calls made while moving around, or the webcam can be used for video conferencing. Games, weather, news, radio and other widgets are supported.
Samsung haptic P3 player
Samsung today also unveiled a new widescreen portable multimedia player: the P3 leverages the company's EmoTure interface with true haptic feedback. On display at CES (Booth No. 11033), the slim media player is made of reinforced die-cast metal (to prevent fingerprints and scratching) and sports a 3-inch WQVGA TFT-LCD touch screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Confirming a previous leak, Samsung’s upgraded EmoTure touch interface with true haptic feedback offers a variety of physical feedback sensations on every command gesture -- from swiping a finger across the screen, to switching audio tracks, to holding down a digital button for fast-forwarding video. In addition, the new Music Hot Touch Key, located just below the touch screen, allows users to instantly access favorite music features and selections without needing to cycle through multiple menus.
Philips media players
Philips has announced the latest GoGear line-up for its digital audio players, the Raga, Spark, and LUXE. Features for the Raga include a 2GB or 4GB flash storage, a tiny multi-line display, and roughly 27 hours of battery life. The spark offers a 1.5-inch OLED color screen capable of displaying album art or photos, and navigation style similar to a clix media player. For the LUXE, Bluetooth 2.1 functionality and FM stereo are offered, along with up to 10-hours of playback time and 100 hours in standby. If a BT-enabled phone is nearby and paired up with the LUXE, calls can now be answered without having to swap out headphones.
Cygnett has released its latest product for iPods and other media players, the GrooveBassball portable speaker. The device integrates a rechargeable battery, claimed to last for three hours of playback time. The speaker resembles the shape of a ball, but extends when the end is twisted. The additional length is designed to improve bass response. A USB cable is included for recharging the lithium-ion cells. Any MP3 player or device with a 3.5mm jack can be connected.
Sansa slotMusic Player
SanDisk on Wednesday unveiled the Sansa slotMusic Player, its new MP3 player for listening to music on the go. According to the company, the plug & play, portable music player was specially designed for use with the new slotMusic cards available today in the United States. The company rolled out both a Sansa-branded player and new personalized, branded slotMusic players for popular artists such as Robin Thicke and ABBA -- both of which are shipping to U.S. stores today, including Best Buy and Wal-Mart and are expected to be available from retailers in Europe and other regions of the world in 2009.
No iPod impact in Taiwan?
Apple's newest iPods are unlikely to have much impact in Taiwan, despite the popularity of the products around the world, an industry publication observes. DigiTimes notes that the prices of NAND memory, and LCD screens between 2.8 and 3.5 inches, have allowed local companies such as T.sonic and Ergotech to release extremely cheap 8GB media players, costing between $3,000 and $3,500 NT ($94 and $109 US). Some generic "white-box" players may even cost as little as $2,500 NT, or $78 US.
Kenbushi 7.4 update
Lava Software has released Kenbushi 7.4, an update to its digital media jukebox. Kenbushi plays and manages media on both Macs and PCs, and syncs media to non-Apple media players. Version 7.4 adds the ability to load numerous media devices with data, including mobile phones, USB memory sticks, flash cards and portable hard drives. Multiple playlists can be created for each device, and space limits can now be set to preserve room. Users of v7.4 can also limit which media types are assigned to a device, for instance by keeping video on one player and music on another.
Trekstor 32GB Vibez player
Trekstor will soon be releasing a 32GB flash version of its Vibez player, among other new devices, according to DAPReview. The Vibez is currently available in 8GB or 16GB formats, but the new addition will put the player in competition with other high-capacity flash devices, such as the 32GB version of the iPod touch. Trekstor has additionally improved upon another player, the i.Beat organix, which in its 2.0 incarnation is claimed to have a 55-hour battery life. An entirely new product, the i.Beat nova, is a small USB-key type device.
Creative ZEN Mozaic player
Creative Technology on Thursday introduced the Creative ZEN Mozaic portable media player. The "boldly designed" player is available in black, pink, and silver colors for what the company says is a "statement that reflects the user's sense of fashion and individual style." It features a built-in speaker like the ZEN Wav, 1.8-inch LCD color screen, FM radio with 32 presets, and a microphone for voice recording. The compact Mozaic also runs unusually long with up to 32 hours of audio playback on a single charge of the battery.
XM details XMP3 player
Details of XM Radio's upcoming media player -- codenamed Phoenix -- have been made public, FCC filings appear to show. Documents at the organization refer to an "XMP3 Car Kit," scheduled to ship later this year. While manuals, photos and illustrations are currently being held confidential, the filing suggests that the name of the player is in fact XMP3, as it matches a trademark application from June under "digital audio radio hardware and accessories" and "satellite radio hardware and accessories."
Front Row meets Twitter
For the past six years, a group of developers scattered across the globe has been quietly working to reinvent the way we watch movies and listen to music. The result is Boxee -- a media player based on the XBMC Open Source platform -- released in alpha form this month initially on the Mac. The developers says Boxee was born of frustration over what they saw as the somewhat clunky way computers gather and display content. Separate applications are needed to display photos or play music and movies, and content is often delivered in formats requiring proprietary media players. The ambitious end game for Boxee is to become the “one-size-fits-all” media center that works with any kind of content on any platform.
Boxee for Mac alpha
Boxee has released a Mac alpha of its “open and smart“ media player application. The start-up says in it’s blog that alternatives such as iTunes do a good job of pushing new content for download, but aren’t ideal for storing existing content. Boxee is designed to help users rediscover their “comfort content,” movies, pictures, and music that may be stored in a variety of formats, using a unique visual interface.
MP3 player with projector
A Hong Kong company called Sunlink, using technology from iView, claims to have produced the first portable commercial product in the world with a built-in pico-projector. The Sunview PMPP is a portable media player that normally relies on a 3.5-inch touchscreen, but can also display images on a wall using the integrated pico technology. Companies such as MicroVision have been working to produce such projectors, but have not so far got them into any commercial devices.
UK MP3 player tax?
The British government should tax the sale of media players, a body of the UK music industry is advocating. The Music Business Group is said to have rejected a recent government proposal, which would see people legally able to transfer music from CDs to media players for free; while the practice is widespread and taken for granted by the public and companies like Apple, in the UK it is technically a violation of copyright. The MBG is said to have taken the same position as America's RIAA however, and called for a levy on sale of devices such as iPods.
Slacker signs music labels
Slacker, the creator of its namesake Portable Radio Player, has announced a deal for the support of all four major record labels: Warner, Universal, EMI and Sony BMG. The Portable is an unusual "radio" device in that it does not stream live music, but rather syncs with the Slacker service via USB or Wi-Fi, and copies up to 40 "stations" for listening offline as well as on. As music plays listeners can rate their tracks, and ban ones they do not want to hear again.
MIU reveals HDPC device
Korean company MIU has unveiled an unusual new product, the HDPC. Its name standing for "Hybrid Dual Portable Computer," the HDPC functions primarily as a handheld UMPC, running Windows XP. Its four-inch screen displays images at 800x480, and users have access to a QWERTY keyboard as well as a pointer controller, and wireless Internet. By closing the lid however users switch into dedicated phone or media player modes, with extra touches such as a camera, an electronic dictionary and voice recording.
Teclast M26 player
A new media player by Asia's Teclast is directly targeting the iPhone and the iPod touch. Like the Apple devices, the M26 is almost entirely touchscreen controlled, but Teclast is specifically marketing the player as using the same type of capacitive technology as the iPhone, permitting light finger gestures. The M26 differs mainly by way of having a 2.6-inch, 400x200 screen, and playing AVI, RealVideo and even Flash video files. Neither the iPhone nor the Touch support Flash.
Mobile Zune store coming
Microsoft is planning to launch a mobile Zune portal sometime in 2009, according to the French newspaper Les Echos. The site would extend the reach of the company's iTunes rival, the Zune Marketplace, and allow users to download games and music directly to various platforms, including computers, Windows Mobile devices and for the first time, Zune players themselves. While Zunes have always come equipped with a Wi-Fi module, they have never had Internet access, a prominent feature on Apple's competing iPod touch.
MPIO V10 media player
Media player specialist MPIO has announced the V10, a forthcoming mid-range unit. A key attribute is its three-inch, 480x272 widescreen display, which enhances watching video in formats such as AVI, WMV, MP4, DivX and XviD. Supported audio formats are also wide, including AAC, OGG, WAV, WMA and MP3. Memory consists of 8GB of internal flash, which can be expanded through SD cards. No prices or release dates have been published. [via Generation MP3]
Games headed to Zune
Games will finally be added to the Zune in the near future, Microsoft has announced. Although games are not typically the focus of most media players, the Zune is conspicuous for lacking any sort of interactive entertainment, whereas a continuous flow of new titles is available for Apple's iPod. Development for the Zune must be accomplished using XNA Studio, which was originally conceived for the Xbox 360; significantly, Microsoft indicates that first-generation Zunes will not be supported.
Sony A820-series Walkmen
Representatives at Sony Europe have announced a new series of Walkman media players, the NWZ-A820s (not pictured). Each is equipped with a 2.4-inch QVGA screen, capable of displaying video at up to 30fps; for more comfortable viewing, orientation on images can be switched between left, right or vertical. Supported video types include MPEG-4 and H.264/AVC, although photos are limited to the JPEG format.
Archos 405 updates to 30GB
Archos has dramatically increased the capacity of its 405 media player, an announcement reveals. Although last year's model had just 2GB of hard drive space, the player now holds 15 times that capacity at 30GB. This should theoretically be enough to hold 40 movies, 300,000 photos, or 15,000 songs.
The player is equipped with a 3.5-inch screen, and is able not only to output to TV, but act as a miniature DVR unit through a DVR Station Gen 5. The new 405 should be on sale in the UK by the end of February, for £200 ($388); no North American plans have been mentioned, but the majority of Archos' products are sold on the continent. [via Pocket-lint]
Toshiba Gigabeat T802, V81
Toshiba has announced updates to two of its Gigabeat media players, in the T and V series. The T802 is an upgrade to the T401, and beyond doubling memory from 4 to 8GB, also introduces 802.11b/g wireless, which like Apple's iPod touch can be used to download content. People can not only browse the YouTube-like GyaO service however, but download movies and podcasts, something even the Touch is not currently capable of. The player should be available in Japan on February 15th, at an average cost of 29,800 yen ($279).
iRiver LPlayer, Spinn, P20
iRiver has announced a full three new media players, each with a substantially different design. One of the most notable of these is the LPlayer, a compact model most likely intended to compete with the iPod nano or the Zune 4/8. The front surface is dominated entirely by a two-inch screen, suggesting touch control; regardless, it does feature FM radio, and comes in 2, 4 and 8GB sizes sharing four different colors (white, brown, purple and cyan). No prices or release dates have been disclosed.
Mpio's dual-padded MG300
Mpio's latest media player is the MG300, due to launch first in Japan. Distinguishing the device is the presence of not one but two control pads, which more neatly divide play, forward/reverse and track skipping options; the second pad also has a Record button, tied to the 300's built-in microphone. The player is equipped with a 2.4-inch LCD, and comes bundled with AVI conversion software that supports DivX, XviD, WMV and MPEG-1/2/4 video. Supported audio types include APE, FLAC, MP3 and WMA.
Web-based iPhone player
Avot Media today unveiled Avot mV, a new Web-based application that allows iPhone users to quickly locate and view any Web-based video on the cellular handset. Avot mV maintains no limits on video selection, and utilizes no transcoding process to achieve almost no latency, according to Avot. iPhone users can watch TV-quality video in near real-time, and the softwrae works across mobile carriers with high-speed data networks as well as Wi-Fi. The iPhone-specific application is available for free.
SonicWALL Quicktime issue
Networking security hardware manufacturer SonicWALL recently announced that it has distributed defensive measures to users of it's Unified Threat Management technology, against zero-day vulnerability exploits found in QuickTime. Malicious websites are able to create a stack-based buffer overflow in Apple's media player, by providing a phony movie file that, when activated, executes a series of code that allows a users machine to be taken over. SonicWALL says that the problem lies within the "Content-Type" header field that is sent from the server, which is not properly verified by the client's QuickTime. Once the "Content-Type" field reaches a certain length, a Buffer Overflow condition occurs, and through this, malevolent users can rewrite a user's privileges so that they have read-write access to the machine.
Zune 80 in Originals
Microsoft has announced that the Zune 80, the company's latest full-size media player, is finally eligible for the Zune Originals program. Buyers of a Zune 80 can now have their player emblazoned for free with one of 27 different pieces of art, created by 18 different artists; alternately, up to five lines of text can be laser-engraved. Microsoft will later let shoppers choose from an additional 20 tattoo-style graphics, which can be combined with up to three lines of text.
Cowon Q5W coming in Dec.
Cowon has revealed that its Q5W media player, announced for the US earlier this month, will at last ship in early December. The player is unique in several respects; it supports 802.11b Wi-Fi for instance, but unlike Apple's iPod touch, can browse websites with and without Flash. The player also has a five-inch, 800x480 touchscreen, which can be optimized for either fingers or a stylus.